How to Create YouTube Thumbnail with Google Slides

Video Thumbnails

In this video you will learn how to create an attractive thumbnail for your YouTube videos using Google slides. The thumbnail that you will learn to create today has taken me exactly two minutes from start. I'll show you how to create this attractive looking thumbnail from scratch in the video below. Click PLAY to view the tutorial video:

Video Transcript

Step 1: Open New Presentation

Let us jump right in and learn how to create an attractive thumbnail from scratch. I'm going to go to File - New and I'm going to open a new presentation.

A new presentation with the default layout opens up. 

Step 2: Custom Presentation Slide Size for YouTube

The first thing we need to do is to ensure that the size of the slide matches the preferred dimensions of a video thumbnail for YouTube. If you go to search for the preferred YouTube video thumbnail size we get this prescription by YouTube.

The resolution needs to be 1280 by 720 pixels and the picture needs to be either a jpg, gif, bitmap or PNG. The maximum size of the picture is 2 MB and it needs to have a 16 is to 9 aspect ratio.

So now we are going to change the dimensions of our slide to match 1280 by 720 pixels. Let me go here go to File go to Page Setup.

To change the option here, I click on the Default option which is Widescreen 16 is to 9 and then I go to Custom option. 

I am going to change the measure from inches to pixels and then I am going to change this to 1280 by 720 and then I am going to click on OK button. 

We have done our first step which is to ensure that the dimensions are appropriate.

Step 3: Add Title and Subtitle Text

The next thing we need to do is to add our title. I'm going to give a very simple title I'm going to call this 'YouTube thumbnail tutorial'.

Next, I'm going to add a Subtitle. When you set it up, you can add your website name here.

I'm going to add something like the words 'Quick and Easy'. Now we have got our title in place. 

Step 4: Apply Google Slides Theme & Customize

The next thing I'm going to do is to choose a Theme. You can choose the theme from the options available to the Themes Pane on the right.

In case you're not able to see the Pane you can always click on the Theme option and that will open up the Pane.

Let us choose a different theme. The one that I prefer is the one with Yellow and Blue Background. You can see that as soon as you click on that option you instantly have a variation in the look and feel of your slide.

I'm going to make a few adjustments in terms of how the various elements are placed here. I'm going to move the title and the subtitle to the right so that I can have some space for me to include my picture to the left of the slide.

I can select the box and move it to the right so that it's on one side. 

I can even move the Subtitle box to the right so that it touches the right edge of the slide. 

I can make some changes to the size and the type of fonts are used.

Instead of the default one which is Playfan I'm going to use Oswald which is more like the font used by YouTube and then I'm going to change the text 'Thumbnail Tutorial' one to say Roberto and I'm going to add a bit of thickness. So I'm going to use Roberto Medium.

That looks nice and I'm going to change the font size here. Instead of 68 maybe I can choose say 48 and if I want to make some adjustments to the background I can do so by extending the white background.

If I want I can change the font for the subtitle text as well. Let me go here and use a handwritten font like Pacifico.  I can also increase the size to say around 36. Now we have got our titles in place.

Step 5: Add Relevant Image

Then the next thing I'm going to do is to insert an image.

When it comes to creating thumbnails there are two types of images that you would use :

  1. If you are going to have a talking head video then a picture of yourself would be appropriate. 
  2. On the other hand if you want to teach a tutorial then it is a good idea to show the end result of the tutorial right on your thumbnail like this one.

As you can see here this is a PowerPoint graphics tutorial and the end
result of the tutorial is this and this automatically develops curiosity in the audience's mind and they would want to learn how to create this graphic and they would click on a thumbnail.

So in this video I am going to show you how to design a thumbnail that has a photo of yourself. So let us go to Insert Image and I'm going to choose the first option called Upload from Computer.

I've already got quite a few pictures of myself stored on my computer. I am going to pick up one of those and I'm going to say Open.

The image gets added to the slide. 

As you can see the size is not really that big. We need to make a few adjustments. I'm going to crop all the unnecessary areas here.

So let me go here click on the Crop Image option and I'm going to crop from right from left and from top.

Then, to change the size of the image I'm going to hold the shift button down as I click and drag from the sides. 

If you want the image to bleed into right side you can even crop it a
bit further.

That will look a little Organic because this image extends beyond the boundary. Now we are pretty much done with creating our thumbnail.

As you can see it has not taken us any time at all.

  1. We started with a blank slide 
  2. We changed our title and subtitle
  3. We chose a theme
  4. We inserted an image and
  5. We made a few adjustments to the fonts and the positioning of the text elements 

....and our thumbnail got ready in no time. 

Customizing Thumbnail Colors & Background

If you are not happy with the bright colors of this theme, and you want to change them you can do so quite easily. 

You need to go to View go to Master and then choose the Title slide layout that we are working on. 

Next, go to Background and you can change the color of the background.

 Maybe if you want something subtler like say this Background you can use and you can say Done.  Instead of the bright blue color if you want a darker hue of the same color you change that as well.

You go to the Fill Color option and choose Dark Yellow 3. Then when I close the menu you can see that my thumbnail looks really attractive.

Step 6: Save as Picture & Upload To YouTube Video

You have total control in the way your thumbnail looks and feels now all you need to do to download this as a picture is to go to file go to Download As and choose PNG image. 

Instantly the slide we just crated gets downloaded as a PNG image and when I go to 'Show in Folder' option of the browser, you can see that the image that we have just created is available there.

You can always click on the Custom Thumbnail icon in the upload page of YouTube and then use this image as your custom thumbnail to attract your
target audience.

I hope you found this tutorial useful. If you did please hit the Like button and share it with your friends. Thanks a lot for watching this
video I'll see you in the next one